If there’s one thing that Christians know how to wax lyrical about, it’s calling. I asked Pete how he would describe calling and he said this:
“It’s an overused term. I think everyone has a form of life calling on them, generally to do with your passion and that’s a God given gift. I identified my calling because I saw someone else doing it and I wanted to do what they did. As a 13 year old, watching other worship leaders really inspired me and I think God puts a passion in you but often you need someone else to point it out to you.”
I’m telling you this, because I believe wherever you are on your faith journey, discovering your calling is key to living a fulfilled life. Pete’s story is a prime example of this.
If you take a look at our first post, you will see a brief overview of how Pete came into worship and his current position in C3. But this week I went back to the interviewing drawing board and asked some more specific questions about his leadership journey.
In 2009, Pete had been touring in the US – about nine months before starting the job as worship pastor at C3. During that time he got the opportunity to lead worship on the last night of a church gathering which was quite large. It was a very powerful night – people were getting saved and the Spirit was really moving. But for Pete, the most powerful thing was that he felt God speaking to him really clearly about leading worship full time. He remembers going away and being in awe of this, but confused as to how it was going to happen. Before heading home the the UK, he had received a prophetic word from a trusted friend while in the States. That friend had told him that he would be in a medium sized church, used by God in the next season to invest in the church and build the church up in worship. The friend told Pete that he believed he would be offered a job to lead worship in a church in the next 6-12 months.
“I’m very nervous about prophetic words with timelines,” Pete said, remembering back, “but so was this friend of mine. And I could tell by the way that he said it, that he would not have been that specific if he hadn’t really felt that he was hearing it from God. So I took it seriously.”
During this time, Pete started to look for worship pastor jobs. At the time, there were no more than 20 of the positions that existed in the country, so finding one that was open seemed like an impossible task. He didn’t know how it was going to happen. What he did know was that it was probably not going to be at the church in which he was currently based. Two days before his sister’s wedding, Pete was chatting to a friend who asked how the London life was going, and whether he would be interested in moving to Cambridge.
“This guy said to me that there was a worship pastor job going at this church and that he had thought of me. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I had known of C3, I had even been to the worship academy they held. I also had a bit of relationship with Steve (the Senior Pastor of C3). So I thought that I needed to go with it, especially since it fit the word that my other friend had given me.”
Pete explains that he was the least qualified out of the three candidates, but the leadership saw his heart, his passion, and invited him onto team anyway.
This last part is really where I am struck. Pete was not the most qualified for the position. On paper, he was probably not the most likely candidate. But calling trumps qualification. Every time. Biblically speaking, time and again, we see those who are not qualified, called into positions of leadership. Daniel, David, Moses, Noah, Paul, Ruth, Esther… the list is endless.
I think it’s also important to note that Pete McAllen is one of the most hard working people I have ever met. He invests time into his calling. He practises, works on his weaknesses, hones his strengths and priorities God in amongst all of it (see our first post about the importance of personal relationship with Jesus). Calling is not an excuse or a justification for not working hard. In fact, with a calling often comes a mandate to invest all of yourself into wherever God is taking you. I think as Christians, we need to rebuild the significance of the word ‘calling’. We need to look at it, not as an assumed birth right, but as a gift – both a privilege and a responsibility.
The beauty of our faith is that when we give everything of ourselves to Jesus, the passions and pursuits of our heart, fall in line with the calling that God has placed on our lives.
I encourage you to think on your calling. If you don’t know what it is, start with your passions. What do you love? How can you worship God through it? How can God use you in it? What’s stopping you from pursuing it? What are you willing to risk for it?
Just something to think about…